Poll: Where Michigan voters stand ahead of the 2020 Democratic primary election

DETROIT – Many Michigan voters who will be casting a ballot for a Democratic candidate in the primary election next week are concerned with electing someone who will beat President Donald Trump, a new WDIV/Detroit News poll found.

According to the poll, Joe Biden is leading the way in Michigan.

The poll focused on what voters feel are the most important issue, how favorably and unfavorably they view the leading Democratic candidates, and how concerned they are with beating Trump.

Key findings:

Most important issue

The most important issue respondents believe the nation is facing right now is Trump.

  • 27.3% President Trump
  • 20.7% health care
  • 7.5% economy/jobs
  • 7.2% divisive politics/ corruption
  • 6.5% environment/ climate change

Respondents older than 50 are more concerned about Trump (37.4 %) than they are concerned about health care (19.2%), while respondents younger than 40 are more concerned about health care.

(WDIV/Detroit News)

Favorable/unfavorable candidate impressions

Respondents were asked if they had a favorable or unfavorable impression of Joe Biden, Mike Bloomberg, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

Biden had the highest favorable to unfavorable ratio, 4.8 favorable to 1 unfavorable, while Bloomberg had the lowest favorable to unfavorable ratio, breaking just above 1 to 1.

Biden -- Favorable: 68.5% Unfavorable: 16.3% No opinion: 13.8%

Bloomberg -- Favorable: 39.5% Unfavorable: 34.8% No opinion: 24%

Sanders -- Favorable: 61% Unfavorable: 26.3% No opinion: 11.7%

Warren -- Favorable: 51% Unfavorable: 25% No opinion: 19%

Biden leads the way

Biden had a 6.7% lead over Sanders when respondents were asked who they would select of all 14 candidates who were on the ballot at the time of the survey.

  • Joe Biden -- 29.2%
  • Bernie Sanders -- 22.5%
  • Mike Bloomberg -- 10.5%
  • Elizabeth Warren -- 6.7%
  • Pete Buttigieg -- 5.8%
  • Amy Klobuchar -- 2.7%
  • Other Candidates -- 1.9%
  • Undecided -- 16.3%
  • Refused -- 4.4%

Among the absentee voters who have already cast their ballots, Biden holds a 19.4% lead over Sanders.

(WDIV/Detroit News)

Beating President Trump

Younger respondents said they are more concerned with electing a candidate who will beat Trump than a candidate who agrees with them on issues, while older respondents favored voting for someone who agrees with them.

According to the poll, 63.9% of respondents age 18-29 are more concerned about beating Trump, compared to 42.3% of 30-39 year olds and 38.2 % of 40-49 year olds.

The shift to favoring a candidate who agrees with them on issues happens with the 50-64 age group. According to the poll, 54.4% of respondents in that age group want a candidate who shares their stance on issues, while 56.6% of respondents 65 and older want the same thing.

Overall, beating Trump was the biggest issue that respondents said will help them decide who to vote for (39.3%), followed by health care (18.5%), economy and jobs (13%), environment and climate change (8.7%), income inequality (8.2%), education and higher education (3.8%), and foreign policy (2.8%).

(WDIV/Detroit News)

Poll methodology:

The Glengariff Group, Inc. conducted a Michigan statewide survey of March 10, 2020 likely Democratic Presidential Primary election voters. The 600 sample, live operator telephone survey was conducted on February 28-March 2, 2020 and has a margin of error of +/-4.0% with a 95% level of confidence. 53.8% of respondents were contacted via landline telephone. 46.2% of respondents were contacted via cell phone telephone. This survey was commissioned by WDIV Local 4 and the Detroit News.

View the full poll results below:

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Where Michigan voters stand ahead of the 2020 primary election